Press Release

January 16, 2024 | By Cole Hatcher

'A Stand-Out Candidate'

Phillip Smith Named Director of the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University

Phillip Smith

DELAWARE, Ohio – Phillip Smith has been named director of the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University. He joins the university staff on Jan. 16 and continues to develop the facility as a regional center of innovation.

Smith reports jointly to Megan Ellis, M.Ed., executive director of the OWU Connection, and David Markwardt, Ph.D., associate dean of the OWU Connection.

"Phil's entrepreneurial spirit, strong collaboration and communication skills, immense drive, and proven success in taking organizations to new heights made him a stand-out candidate in a deep pool," Ellis and Markwardt said in announcing Smith's hire.

The Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University (DEC OWU) opened in fall 2018 and is a collaboration among the university, Delaware County, and City of Delaware. DEC OWU is the nation's first such collaboration among a small liberal arts university and the surrounding city and county.

In his new role, Smith's duties include creating and executing a business development strategic plan for DEC OWU; developing new partnerships with community leaders, entrepreneurial partners, and local high schools; and overseeing all center programming, including planning, implementation, evaluation, and reporting.

Smith previously worked for nearly 15 years at the Simon Kenton Council, Boy Scouts of America, most recently as its director of support services. In this role, he helped to increase programmatic attendance for the Council while greatly reducing operational costs. He also worked to reduce engagement roadblocks, build systems to improve Council processes and procedures, and advance its diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging efforts.

Before joining the Boy Scouts, Smith served as the president, CEO, or senior partner of three media-related companies, most recently the Farmer+Yoakam Advertising Agency in Pemberville, Ohio. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from Bowling Green State University.

Smith said he is excited to join Ohio Wesleyan and support entrepreneurship at the university and throughout the region.

"My work experience spans a wide variety of companies and industries, all with one underlying goal: to affect change and meet needs in new and effective ways for positive sustainable growth," said Smith, a Delaware resident. "I look forward to helping the Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University to increase its visibility and impact as we aid budding entrepreneurs and Ohio Wesleyan students in achieving their goals."

DEC OWU is located at 70 S. Sandusky St., Delaware, and includes rentable office spaces, a shared work area for center members, a conference center with digital meeting capabilities, and educational programming to support entrepreneurial understanding and success. Center members have access to Ohio Wesleyan student-interns, through the OWU Connection program, to assist them with product research, marketing strategies, budgeting, graphic design – and other needs to help them build their businesses.

Learn more about The Delaware Entrepreneurial Center at Ohio Wesleyan University at

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation's premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers more than 70 undergraduate majors and competes in 24 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Through its signature experience, the OWU Connection, Ohio Wesleyan teaches students to understand issues from multiple academic perspectives, volunteer in service to others, build a diverse and global perspective, and translate classroom knowledge into real-world experience through internships, research, and other hands-on learning. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book "Colleges That Change Lives" and included on the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review "Best Colleges" lists. Connect with OWU expert interview sources at or learn more at